Theodore M. Hesburgh Research Travel Grants

Father Hesburgh

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. (1917-2015), was president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and an influential figure in higher education, the Catholic Church, American public life, and international affairs. A noted public intellectual, he worked tirelessly on behalf of causes ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to the development of collegiate athletic programs to the mission of Catholic universities in the modern world.

Hesburgh’s unique perspective and prodigious contributions stand to inform and enrich a broad range of narratives in American social, religious, and political history, as well as ongoing discussions in public policy, philosophy of education, peace studies, and theology. The Archives of the University of Notre Dame house primary source material documenting the full range of Hesburgh’s life and work. To make these materials more readily available to scholars, the Cushwa Center is offering Theodore M. Hesburgh Research Travel Grants supporting research and writing projects that consider and incorporate Father Hesburgh’s legacy.

The Cushwa Center offers grants to help defray travel and lodging costs for researchers of any academic discipline whose projects stand to benefit from consideration of archival materials pertaining to Father Hesburgh. Applicants should make clear how their projects relate to the study of Hesburgh’s life and thought.


Finding Aids for the Archives

Prospective applicants should explore the Notre Dame Archives webpage for the Hesburgh Papers, and the particular finding aids linked here, for collections and materials of interest. A significant portion of materials pertaining to Father Hesburgh may be subject to a variety of restrictions. Before submitting a grant application, please contact the archives (; 574-631-6448) to confirm that the specific materials of interest to you would be accessible for research purposes. 

The following collections hold the majority of Hesburgh-related materials at the Archives:

Theodore M. Hesburgh Papers (presidential office files, papers, correspondence, printed material, etc.)
Department of Information Services Records (includes documentation of Hesburgh’s career at Notre Dame and beyond)
Michael O’Brien Interviews (audio interviews all relating to Hesburgh)
Notre Dame Magazine Records (includes many Hesburgh photographs)

Miscellaneous collections holding more occasional Hesburgh material (correspondence, speeches, etc.) include:

Christian Family Movement | Liturgical Arts Society Records | Michael A. Mathis Papers | Edmund A. Stephan Papers | Sorin Birthplace Commemoration Collection | Leo R. Ward Papers | Henry C. Wurzer Papers

Material relates to subjects including, but not limited to:

Humanitarianism and International Affairs | Cambodia Crisis Center | Council on Foreign Relations | ecology and environmentalism | International Atomic Energy Agency (1956-1977) | National Cambodia Crisis Committee | Overseas Development Council | Institute for World Order | nuclear energy and disarmament | Peace Corps | Rockefeller Foundation | science and technology | United States Advisory Commission for International Educational and Cultural Affairs | United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development | U.S.-Latin American relations | Vietnam War

Civil and Human Rights | immigration reform | peace studies | Presidential Clemency Board | Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy | social justice | United States Commission on Civil Rights | women’s rights and education

Higher Education Administration | academic freedom | Carnegie Commission on the Future of Higher Education | Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching | Campus Protests and Student Activism | collegiate athletics | coeducation | College Retirement Equities Fund | Institute of International Education | Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics | lay trusteeship | Midwest Universities Research Association | National Science Board | student affairs | Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN) | Teachers' Insurance and Annuity Association of America

Catholicism and Catholic Intellectual Life | Catholic Action | Congregation of Holy Cross | ecumenism after Vatican II | International Federation of Catholic Universities | interreligious dialogue | Land O’Lakes Conference | Pontifical Council for Culture | Tantur Ecumenical Institute


Application Procedures

Please submit an application form with the following documents attached:

  1. current curriculum vitae;
  2. 1,000-word project description indicating as specifically as possible how collections and/or particular materials pertaining to Hesburgh at the University Archives relate to your project, and any advance contact you have made with archivists of those collections;
  3. proposed budget estimating travel, lodging, and research expenses.

Applications must be submitted with required materials by December 31, 2019.



Applicants will be notified by March.



Grant recipients will be asked to:

1. participate in an interview about their project and/or provide the center with a short report on the results of their research;
2. acknowledge the grant in all publications which result from their research;
3. notify the Cushwa Center of any publication resulting in whole or in part from the grant.


Housing at Notre Dame

Assistance with finding affordable accommodations is available through the Cushwa Center.

Access the Application Form Here